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Writing science in urgent times: CoViD-19 and its impact on scientific writing


The urgent need for new knowledge as a result of the CoViD-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the amount of scientific writing on the topic. Various analyses of this phenomenon from different approaches have appeared thus far (Horbach 2020; Torres-Salinas 2020). However, less attention has been paid to the impact of this situation on the language of these studies, looking into whether the continued emergency affects authors’ conscious or unconscious linguistic choices, and if so, how. This article compares texts on CoViD with texts written during the previous MERS emergency and its aftermath, trying to find if texts on CoViD present particular linguistic features reflective of this situation of urgency. Results suggest that texts on CoViD do indeed exhibit particular linguistic features, and that these point to a preference for conveying immediate knowledge and a departure from rhetorical practices common in scientific writing.